3/30/17

i hate the word "widow"!


As if going through the death of a spouse/partner wasn’t difficult enough, you’re suddenly labeled by everyone as a “widow” as soon as the death occurs.

Unfortunately, there have always been negative stereotypes about what it means to be widowed.

Take these examples from literature:

In order to save face in society, a widow was compelled to announce her loss to the world by her apparel. From Middlemarch by George Eliot: "My dear Celia," said Lady Chettam, "a widow must wear her mourning at least a year.”

Here’s an example of the stereotype of a widowed woman as vulnerable sexual prey from Fantastic-Fables by Ambrose Bierce: ‘A widow weeping on her husband's grave was approached by an Engaging Gentleman who, in a respectful manner, assured her that he had long entertained for her the most tender feelings.’

Until recently (in some cases, it’s still a reality), a widow was left financially destitute by her husband’s death. From the novel, Robin Hood by Walker J. McSpadden: ‘Toward the close of the same day, Rob paused hungry and weary at the cottage of a poor widow who dwelt upon the outskirts of the forest.’

Keep in mind that many of these old stereotypes probably continue to influence how you and others see your changed status. Like all aspects of a new identity, it takes time and baby steps to increase your sense of who you now are and how you want to define yourself.













6 comments:

Anonymous said...

it hit me when I got the revised car insurance policy - Status widow. I cried out "I'd don't want to be a widow, I want to be a wife!"

In a blink of an eye, you're in a completely different catagory :(

Anonymous said...

what hit me was when I got the revised car insurance. It said Status: widow. I cried out, "I don't want to be a widow, I want to be a wife!"

Prussia said...

What about partners who don't even get to use the word widow?
All the pain of being a widow but without any of the understanding or empathy......

Prussia said...

What about partners who do not get to use the word widow?
All the pain and misery of widowhood but without any of the empathy...

Anonymous said...

I hate the word widow. It tastes bitter coming out of my mouth. I might as well have said I have leprosy. The reaction from others is about the same.

Laurie and Ruth said...

Thank you for your comment.